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Traveling exhibit highlights Rosa Parks and women of the Montgomery bus boycott
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Traveling exhibit highlights Rosa Parks and women of the Montgomery bus boycott

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1955: Rosa Parks sparks Montgomery Bus Boycott (copy)

Rosa Parks' decision not to give up her seat to a white man on an Alabama bus changed the course of American history. The same day Parks was convicted of violating segregation laws, black community leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., organized a boycott of the Montgomery bus system. It would not end until the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation laws were unconstitutional. Parks subsequently became a symbol of the civil rights movement and continued her work as an activist against inequality.

OZARK — A traveling exhibit on civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the other women who played pivotal roles in the Montgomery bus boycott will be on display at the Ozark Dale County Library during August.

The exhibits, “Tired of Giving in: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” and “Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” are being made available through Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum. The museum, located on Troy’s Montgomery campus, received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund the exhibits.

The exhibits will be in Ozark from Aug. 3-26 and available for public viewing from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday through Saturday. The Ozark Dale County Library is located at 416 James St.

The “Tired of Giving In: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott” exhibit provides an overview of the life and activism of Parks and the success of the Montgomery bus boycott.

“Women of the Montgomery Bus Boycott” utilizes oral history interviews, digitized archival material and court documents to tell the heroic stories of Jo Ann Robinson, Aurelia Browder, Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, Lucille Times, Susie McDonald, Virginia Durr, Georgia Gilmore, Coretta Scott King, Juanita Abernathy, Juliette Hampton Morgan, and Jean Graetz. Important grassroots political organizations such as the Women’s Political Council will also be highlighted through the exhibit.

Each 12-panel exhibit contains graphics and text content, photographs and interactive exhibits that can be accessed through visitors’ smart devices.

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For additional information, contact Joni Wood at the Ozark Dale County Library at 334-774-5480 or gen@troycable.net.

In addition to the exhibit in the Library’s Reference area, special programs and activities are scheduled throughout the month. Attendance is free to the exhibit and all programs.

A grand opening reception will be held Aug. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with light refreshments offered throughout the day.

Donna Beisel, assistant director of the Rosa Parks Museum, will give a special presentation on Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. on the exhibit “Rosa Parks & the Montgomery Bus Boycott.”

Then, on Aug. 17 at 2 p.m., listen to a recorded interview with Johnny Trawick — a distant relative of Parks — who shares stories about her and the signed check on display at the library.

There will be scavenger hunts surrounding the exhibits for both children and adults. Completed scavenger hunts are eligible for a chance to win tickets to the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery.

The Rosa Parks Museum opened on Dec. 1, 2000, with the mission of preserving and interpreting the story and lasting legacy of Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott for future generations. Constructed on the site of the former Empire Theater, the museum stands on the spot of Parks’ historic 1955 arrest for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery city bus to a white male.

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